Friday, March 20, 2009

Bishops Say, People Do: Arrest of Hate Emailer in Connecticut

My recent open letter to the U.S. Catholic bishops links anti-gay statements made lately by Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, Colorado, to violence against gay and lesbian persons. My letter states,

Such immoral use of people subject to stigmatization elicits further prejudice and often results in violence of various kinds, ranging from outright assault to increased social scorn, against those identified as despised objects by political or religious authorities (here).

As a follow-up to that discussion, I reported earlier this week that the two openly gay Connecticut lawmakers targeted by Lori and Chaput in their campaign to resist lay oversight of parish finances, Andrew McDonald and Mike Lawlor, received a flood of hate mail (emails and conventional letters) following Lori and Chaput’s statements (here).

My posting notes that police were investing one email, in particular, which they considered a death threat, and which used the word “kill” in relation to the two lawmakers.

Yesterday, police arrested the person who allegedly made this email death threat. He is one Timothy Kane of New Britain, Connecticut, 26 years old. (here)

Oh, and by the way, his father Joseph Kane is a Catholic deacon.

When bishops fan flames of hatred and violence, people act out hatred and violence. For which bishops are then responsible.